Saturday, August 31, 2013

Great Places To Visit - Ballarat International Foto Biennal

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale 17.8.-15.9'13.
A bunch of photography friends and I caught the early train to Ballarat this morning (Saturday 30th Aug 2013) Our destination was the biennal Photo exhibition, which was scattered throughout the central area of Ballarat.
The weather was beautiful, with lots of sunshine and lots of walking.
We walked through and photographed both Core and Fringe Venues. Lots of fantastic photographic work to see and learn from.

Exhibits included but were not limited to The Mining Exchange,
Art Gallery of Ballarat, Ballarat Trades Hall, Gallery B1, Post Office Gallery, Town Hall,
Sebastians, Phoenix Brewery, The Unicorn Hotel, Her Majesty's Theatre Craigs Royal Hotel, The Bean Barn, Europa Cafe', L'Espresso, Gallery on Sturt, just to name a few.

We grabbed ourselves a program (gold coin donation) and followed the map inside.
Such a beautiful day and lots of good eateries along the way. Everyone did their own "thing", and caught the train home at their own leisure.

A great day out. Highly recommend it to any art or photography enthusiasts, or just folks who like to look at interesting things. Ballart thank you for putting on a great exhibition and great weather.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Great Places To Visit - Hamilton Island - Australia

Our little family recently had a wonderful holiday on beautiful Hamilton Island. Not being "yacht people" we were blissfully unaware that part of our stay included Hamilton Island Race week. We were delighted!

We stayed in a very comfortable 2 bedroom apartment: Panoramic No 1. There was a balcony for each of the 2 levels looking out towards Whitsunday Island. Lovely views. The apartment was nestled in "the bush" which enabled us to enjoy (and curse) the local wildlife. We were visited (and burgled by) the local sulfur crested cockatoo's. Very cheeky and happy to "pose" for photos. WARNING: if you stay in Panorama No 1, lock your glass balcony door as well as your screen door (on the living level) when you go out or you might get "burgled" by the cockies! We did. Little mosters chewed through the screen mesh ripping a space just big enough to squeeze through and then proceed to go into the kitchen and open our packets of biscuits, sugar, cereal, in fact anything and everything. Not satisfied with that, they scattered their loot all over the kitchen! We were NOT happy when we came home and reported them to the local "police". (The rental agents). They sent their handyman around to help us clean up and repair the screen, couldn't have been more helpful, as well as a "perhaps you had better lock the glass door, as these offenders are well know in this stretch of units". So we did, no further problems!
The weather was magic during our stay, around 25C each day. We did lots of tourist things, boat cruise to the Great Barrier Reef with snorkeling, lunch, and return by helicopter was absolutely B E A U T I F U L !!!

Tried out most of the eat places on the island and our favorite was lunch at Dent Island Golf Club which is Hamilton Island's famous golf course. It was so good, we went twice!!

Our son tried his hand at target shooting, which he enjoyed. We loved watching the yachts sail past each morning on their way to the start line and managed to capture one unfortunate yacht that ran aground!

Sunsets from our balcony were just lovely as was the glass or two of wine we enjoyed whilst watching the sun set.

One of the most relaxing and beautiful holidays we have had in Australia. Highly recommend it, although it is very expensive. You have to's an island, everything is shipped in so it's going to cost more.

We were sad to leave and come back home to reality. Never mind, maybe we'll go back again sometime.
Plane heading for the mainland.  

Resting after lunch on Dent Island.

Dent Island Golf Course

18th Tee looking towards Club house and Hamilton Island

Beautiful Dent Island Golf Course.

Heading around the tip of H.I. from our balcony

Racing yachts from our balcony

Hamilton Island marina and "Opera House" Yacht Club

The Marina

Yacht Week

Hamilton Island main shopping precinct.

Don't think he can enter the race.

And there off!

Coopers Ale Yacht.

View from Dent Island towards Hamilton Island.

Reporting the race from above.

Local art gallery

Stranded yacht in middle distance.


"Burgulars". Sulphur Crested Cockatoos.

The face of a thief!

Sunset behind stranded yacht from our balcony.

Hamilton Island Marina at night.

Night Dinner cruise returning. Food was great.

Heading for the reef 

Great Barrier Reef Pontoon.

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.

"George", a Barrier Reef local.

George had his eye on me.

Snorkeling on the reef.


Great Barrier Reef

Heart reef from the helicopter.

Coral "sunscreen" from the helicopter.

Whitehaven Beach

Hamilton Island Airport

Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach

Sunset at Hamilton Island Marina.

Hamilton Island.

Chopper views near Whitehaven Beach.

Whitehaven Beach

Great Barrier Reef

Pentecost Island in the background.

Dent Island

From our balcony

Playing tourist


Mode of transport on Hamilton Island.

From our balcony

Suspect No 1.

Seems the cockies don't want us to read this!

Sunset from our balcony.

From our balcony

Wild Oats Eleven.

Sunset Dinner Cruise patrons.

Sunset over the Whitsundays from the Dinner cruise.

Squid chasing the boat lights.

"Dirty Harry" at the Target Range.

Not a bad shot for a beginner!

Highly recommended!

Hamilton Island Resort Beach.

Tide out. Looking back at resorts.

Soaking up some vitamin D with the tide out.

Great views.

Yacht Week sponsors.

More great views.

Can you spot the sea eagle flying through?

Great Places To Visit - Doncaster East, Melbourne, Mullum Mullum Walking Track

Just because I'm currently in the city for awhile doesn't mean I have to "miss out" on my daily bush walks. Nearby to us i...